ISLAMABAD: The Cotton Crop Assessment Committee was informed on Wednesday that Pakistan is expected to produce 8.46 million cotton bales this year, mainly due to the climatic condition which remained better than last year.
Sindh, which suffered a heavy loss of cotton crop last year, is expected to produce 3.5m bales this year. The cotton production in Punjab is expected at 4.5m bales this year which will be an increase of 8.5 per cent over the last year’s crop.
Presiding over a meeting of the assessment committee, Minister for National Food Security and Research Syed Fakhr Imam attributed this year’s cotton production to the intervention price, which he said, was announced after eight years, and encouraged growers to invest in crop management and harvest high yields.
The government has announced intervention price of Rs5,000 per 40kg for cotton this year. Mr Imam said that growers from Sindh and Punjab also praised this act and requested the government to replicate the intervention price for sugarcane and wheat.
The minister informed the meeting that 2020 witnessed 398.6mm rainfall which had devastating impact on the cotton production, whereas this year the rainfall was recorded at 78.6mm which has improved the prospect of overall production.
He said it was imperative that awareness among farmers was raised regarding contamination control. He said that through proper chemical sprays the quality and quantity of cotton production could be enhanced. “The government will be proactive with the provision of quality seed to facilitate farmers,” he added.
Mr Imam said the government had performed exceptionally well in the last season as Pakistan had the highest production in the top five crops, including wheat, with record production of 27.5m tonnes. “The government aims to transform the cotton production as well, as the PTI government was supporting the cotton grower in every capacity,” he said.
He said there was a need of paradigm shift in the yield of cotton crop as it was one of the major factors of production in the domestic industry. “Small holders will only be able to grow wheat if the quality inputs are timely available and in the range of farmer’s access,” he said.
The minister stressed the need for establishing linkages between the scientists and farmers mainly to minimise the gap between the results of research farm with that of the actual field. “The government is ensuring that the concerns of all stakeholders are heard and addressed,” he added.
Representatives of cotton growers, provincial agriculture departments and associations, besides government officials concerned attended the meeting.
Published in Dawn, September 2nd, 2021